Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Serious assaults in NZ disturbingly high: Otago research

OU Media Release

EMBARGOED until 1201am Friday 12 October 2012

Serious assaults in NZ disturbingly high: Otago research

University of Otago researchers have found that serious assaults in New Zealand have been steadily rising and are now at disturbingly high levels, especially among young males, Maori and Pacific people, and those from deprived neighbourhoods.

Lead author Emeritus Professor John Langley, of the University of Otago’s Injury Prevention Research Unit, says this new study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ) today (Friday), is the first comprehensive statistical analysis of this category of violence in over two decades.

It throws into serious doubt judicial and Police statistical claims in recent years that New Zealand is becoming a less violent society.

“It also brings into focus the need for the Government to effectively tackle the alcohol issue if it wants to significantly reduce serious assaults,” he says.

Professor Langley, and University of Otago co-author Dr Pauline Gulliver, found that in New Zealand between 2000 and 2009 there were 8006 serious non-fatal assaults – 76% of these were male victims (6335). The female serious assaults totalled 1671.

Averaged out, the annual rate of serious assault is around 800 (79% of these males) a year – which is roughly two-thirds of the same serious injury category for road crashes.

To be included in the “serious assault” category, the victim had a 6% or worse chance of dying as result of their injuries.

Among women, the serious assault level had fluctuated up and down over the nine-year period, but for males, particularly in the 15-to-24 age group, the numbers had risen particularly dramatically between 2004 and 2009.

Bodily force was the most common method of injury (nearly half of the serious assault cases for women, and 45% of the male cases), followed by use of a blunt object. The third most prominent cause of serious injury was a sharp object or knife.

By far the majority of serious assaults for males (1397) where the location of the event was known occurred on the streets and highways, closely followed by the male’s home (1188), followed by a trade or service area (583). For females, the majority of serious assaults, 855, took place in the home, with 156 on the streets and 58 in a trade or service area. Head injury accounted for 72.6% of all serous non-fatal injuries, and the 8006 incidents required a total of 35, 186 hospital bed-days.

Maori accounted for almost half (48%) of female serious non-fatal assaults, and one-third (32%) of males in the same category. Pacific Island people also featured prominently among the male victim statistics, having a rate only slightly lower than Maori males. The study also showed that if you lived in a deprived household or neighbourhood, your risk of serious assault was much higher.

“This study provides new and recent insights into serious non-fatal assaultive hospitalisations. The trends we have observed are concerning, especially since there is no evidence of any recent abatement. This raises questions about our efforts to reduce such harm,” he writes in the NZMJ.

The last study to examine non-fatal assault was published in 1995, and looked at assaults resulting from hospital admission between 1979 and 1988. That study also identified males, particularly Maori, as being of elevated risk of assault, with bodily force the most common method of injury.

Professor Langley points out that a large proportion of serious assaults involve young to middle-age males assaulting similarly aged males. Despite this, historically the prevention focus has been on domestic violence.

“While this mismatch between the burden and prevention is starting to be addressed, I question the adequacy of our prevention responses,” he says.

Excessive alcohol consumption is a common causal factor in many assault incidents. Professor Langley argues there is sufficient evidence base which shows that reduced alcohol advertising, and higher taxes on alcohol are likely to have a significant and relatively rapid effect on assaults. He is concerned that the Government has so far indicated it does not intend pursuing these strategies.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Last Rites For The TPP

The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is one of those litmus issues that has always had more to do with one’s place on the political spectrum than with any imminent reality.

To date, the Greens have opposed (a) a wide range of the leaked content of the TPP (b) the secretive way it has been negotiated and (c) the undemocratic way in which any final document would be ratified. Labour has shared some of those concerns, but while remaining generally supportive of the deal itself.

National has, for its part, been very enthusiastic about the TPP, while still giving assurances about Pharmac being protected... For the TPP’s friends and foes alike though, the end now seems nigh. More>>

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Farcical Elevation Of David Seymour

With the election won, it’s time to find jobs for the boy. David Seymour is the Act Party’s latest scrounger to be rewarded by the National Party, and not only with a seat in Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

As Key Mulls Joining ISIS Fighting: McCully Speech To UN Backs Security Council Bid

It is an honour to address you today on behalf of the Prime Minister and Government of New Zealand. Our General Election took place last week - our Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key is engaged in forming a government and that is why he is unable to be here in New York... More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cunliffe Triggers Party Wide Leadership Contest

David Cunliffe has resigned as Labour Leader, but says he will seek re-election... If there is any contest the election will have to go through a process involving the party membership and union affiliates. More>>

ALSO:

Flyover Appeal: Progress And Certainty, Or Confusion And More Delays?

Lindsay Shelton: The Transport Agency, embarrassed by the rejection of its flyover alongside the Basin Reserve, says it’s appealing because the decision could “constrain progress.” Yet for most clear-sighted Wellingtonians a 300-metre-long concrete structure above Kent and Cambridge Terraces would in no way be seen as progress… More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party... More>>

ALSO:

Key Seeking 'New Ideas': Look To Children’s Commissioner On Poverty - Greens

John Key should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to ideas for tackling child poverty, and instead look to the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Group on Child Poverty, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says. More>>

ALSO:

'Safe To Re-Enter' - OIA Docs: Safety Is Absolute Priority At Pike River Mine

“We understand that the time it is taking to complete our evaluation of the risks is frustrating for the family members and we are trying to complete this work as quickly as we can,” Ms Dunphy says. “It is Solid Energy’s responsibility to make this decision and we will do so, once we have all the information required to make a fully-informed decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news